PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak must be a statesman and transcend party politics to ensure the national reconciliation programme is a success.
International Islamic University of Malaysia lecturer Prof Datuk Seri Dr Syed Arabi Idid said the Prime Minister must invite all political leaders for an apolitical discussion.
He added that there were core fundamental issues that needed to be addressed as Malaysia moves on after the general election.
“Several studies show people cite the economy and crime as two major issues. Our political leaders can work together to address them,” he said.
The results of GE13 saw a big swing among urban voters for Pakatan Rakyat while Barisan Nasional retained most of its traditional vote banks in rural areas.
The Chinese also made their voices heard with many supporting the Opposition, especially in areas where DAP was pitted against MCA.
Two ministers, Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha and Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung, lost their parliamentary seats.
Social entrepreneur Anas Zubedy agreed that the reconciliation programme should not only involve politicians.
Noting the intense emotion and anger exhibited by both sides of the divide on social media, he questioned whether the hate politics peddled online should be allowed to continue.
“We must rise above it and leaders from both sides will have to lead the way. Both sides must tell their followers to stop such behaviour,'' said Anas.
1Malaysia Foundation chairman Prof Dr Chandra Muzaffar, meanwhile, said it was essential for the various communities to “rededicate” themselves to the fundamentals on which the country was founded.
He called for the establishment of a national consultative council involving not just politicians but civil society groups as well.
“The fact remains the Chinese did play a part in generating this victory for DAP. Likewise, PAS may say it is not ethnic-based but its appeal is largely Malay. So how can one say ethnicity did not play a part?” he questioned.
Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute CEO Tan Sri Michael Yeoh said Najib's call was timely as the nation was divided.
“It is time to reach out to all the ethnic groups and unite on common ground,” he said.